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Double anniversary celebration for Norfolk farming charities The Clan Trust and YANA

PUBLISHED: 15:54 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:13 16 November 2018

A special event was held in Norwich to celebrate the 50th anniversary of farming charity the Clan Trust, and the 10th anniversary of farming mental health charity YANA.

A special event was held in Norwich to celebrate the 50th anniversary of farming charity the Clan Trust, and the 10th anniversary of farming mental health charity YANA.

Archant

A special celebration was held in Norwich to mark significant milestones for two charities working within Norfolk's farming and countryside communities.

Robert Alston, founder of The Clan Trust. Picture: The Clan TrustRobert Alston, founder of The Clan Trust. Picture: The Clan Trust

The event brought guests from across the rural spectrum to the Great Hospital on Bishopgate to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clan Trust, and the 10th anniversary of mental health charity YANA (You Are Not Alone).

The Clan Trust was founded in 1968 by the late Robert Alston of Witton Hall in North Walsham, who wanted his legacy to provide agricultural education grants, support for research to advance the science of agriculture, and help for establishments which benefit the old or the needy.

Since then, the trust has made grants to a wide range of beneficiaries including regional agricultural shows, schools, colleges and universities, caring and health facilities and young farmers’ clubs.

In its 50th year, the trust has launched the Clan Trust Scholarship, with a value up to £10,000, which will be awarded annually to “the most outstanding candidate for a farming, education, research or travel project”.

The YANA Project hosted a two-day mental health first aid course for farming and rural organisations. Picture: YANA.The YANA Project hosted a two-day mental health first aid course for farming and rural organisations. Picture: YANA.

Applications will open in January and awards will be made in May following interviews of candidates, who must be aged 18-30, have lived in Norfolk for at least three years, and can demonstrate both their commitment to farming or rural industries, and the need and benefits of their proposed project.

Trust chairman Tim Papworth said: “Uncle Rob’s vision was that the trust would grow and indeed it has. But there is more to do to support his three goals: For the young, for the old in the rural community, and for scientific advances in agriculture. So tonight we launch the Clan Trust scholarship for 18 to 30-year-olds who live in Norfolk, who have an outstanding project that will forward agriculture.

“To quote Uncle Rob, one thing is certain: They must have complete agricultural knowledge to carry them through – sheer hard work is no longer the only requirement. Money must be made available to see some of those, who have the ability, through their training programme.”

The trust has also created a bespoke agri-science fund for benefactors wishing to target their donations at project grants which advance science in agriculture.

• For more information, visit the Clan Trust website or contact office@clantrust.org.

MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY’S “YANA ARMY”

One of the most significant groups supported by the Clan Trust is YANA, which joined its parent charity to celebrate its own anniversary.

Founder Melinda Raker said the organisation, which offers confidential counselling for people in the farming industry who may be affected by stress and depression, has become self-funding in recent years with the crucial help of donations and fundraising support.

The charity was launched in Norfolk in 2008, extended into Suffolk in 2012 and, this week, a self-funding YANA group was established in Worcestershire as the organisation continues to grow.

Mrs Raker outlined other achievements this year including the launch of a national directory of rural support groups, and hosting a two-day mental health first aid course in Norfolk, equipping delegates from rural charities and businesses with the skills to recognise the symptoms of mental ill health and the knowledge to signpost people to the relevant support.

“With another course planned for Suffolk next year, it would be my hope that within five years we will have a ‘YANA Army’ of 100 mental health first aiders in our industry,” she said.

“I think the mental health first aiders are really valuable. If we can get our YANA Army out there to recognise problems in other people and get help for them, that is a good use of funds.

“It has really been an exceptional year for us. There is so much happening and every day I hear about someone raising money for us or making a donation and that is what makes it sustainable. The more donations we receive, the more people we can train as mental health first aiders.”

While the strict confidentiality of the service made it difficult to quantify the number of people who may have benefited from YANA’s help during the last decade, Mrs Raker said: “We have given out 100,000 leaflets, had 25,000 visits to the website, and attended over 150 events – if only 1% of our contacts have been helped or helped someone else, then that is a good result.”

• For more information, visit the YANA website or call the confidential helpline on 0300 323 0400.

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